Poetry 2020 Edition 4

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

 

Collection #7  by Billy Collins, Random House Trade Paperbacks 2002, 173 pages

Budapest

My pen moves along the page
like a snout of a strange animal
shaped like a human arm
and dressed in the sleeve of a loose green sweater.

I watch it sniffing the paper ceaselessly,
intent as any forager that has nothing
on its mind but the grubs and insects
that will allow it to live another day.

It wants only to be here tomorrow,
dressed perhaps in the sleeve of a plaid shirt,
nose pressed against the page,
writing a few more dutiful lines

while I gaze out the window and image Budapest
or some other city where I have never been.

 

SO GOOD. I had misgivings and incorrect assumptions about Billy Collins “the famous poet”; he is too famous. But I had not experienced his work, his poems, with just me sitting with each one. I love his stuff! Mostly, I love the devotion he shows to the time it takes, allows. The time a poem bakes, crafts, comes into being, as if he and he alone, is the messenger, or person only to deliver the package. He sits and waits and plays and writes and then a poem emerges. He makes it seem effortless and yet like he doesn’t really have any choice in the matter. I am grateful that he allows the poems to come to him and then shares them. I very much love his poems about poems.

(Believe it or not, there is a 1-star review on goodreads; very entertaining.)

Rating: FIVE SLICES


Collection #8 by Lisa J. Starr, Beautifully Produced by the Poet 2008, 116 pages

Other People’s Poems

Perhaps I should leave other people’s poems to other people,
but I am afraid that left unsaid, they grow, they thicken,’
never mind how they accumulate.
The poems of others—this one’s my brother’s.

.
.
.

Your poem, then, my brother—the weariness of knowing
that what’s done is done, except that then it’s yours forever.
It takes twenty years sometimes to discover it’s not that your secret
is so dark; it’s that it’s always with you.

 

I am contacting the poet to see what is the best way to purchase a copy of this. (I don’t want to use the big A place… I suppose I should check if the indie bookstore on Block Island has a copy.) I thought this poems impactful, poignant, and relatable to the point that I want to have them to share. Poems about the joys of childhood, and how childhood pain is long-lasting; poems about taking care of parents and old dogs, poems of recognition.

Rating:  Five Slices of Pie. Quiche Lorraine and Pumpkin Pie

 

 

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

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Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Treasure Island

Thoughts by Robt Louis Stevenson, Audible Studios 2017 (orig 1882), 6 hours 23 minutes

Narrated by the Philip Glenister, Daniel Mays, Catherine Tate, Owen Teale.

Challenge:  Back to Classics Challenge (Place, 19th C, Nature or Genre?), Classics Club
Genre: Adventure
Type/Source: Audio / Audible

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A coming of age tale on the high seas, battling pirates for buried treasure. 

WHAT’s GOOD: Very fast paced, lots of dastardly deeds and swashbuckling. I enjoyed “young Jim”‘s mother who was full of love AND snark. Her only son craves a more adventurous life than running a seaside inn where the clientele is lowlifes and drunks but yay, that’s how they meet The Pirate. Well, the first pirate of many. So First Pirate dies and leaves a map that is discovered by Jim. Second Pirate attempts to steal map and threatens the life of the poor innkeepers but is thwarted. When Jim entrusts ‘gentlemen’ to secure a ship to voyage to the island where said treasure is suspected, we find out that the cook is our Third Pirate who declares mutiny. Jim is often dismissed as too young but then always exceeds expectations in every situation.

 What’s NOT so good:  Oh, it is perfectly fine if you like pirates and swashbuckling. The audio had long pauses between chapters which were a beat too long.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I missed this in school but I can understand why this is often taught to middle school kids. I am curious why the fast food seafood chain decided to name it Long John Silvers. Took a risk there, donchathink? But maybe not. Well, come to think of it, I don’t even know if they are still in biz. They had a long run, though.

RATING:  Four slices

No pie mentions noted.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post is an original post by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

First Book 2020

For Sheila’s Book Journey New Year Reads Initiative. #FirstBook2020

 

 

 

pieratingCopyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The House of the Seven Gables

Thoughts by Nate Hawthorne, Kindle edition (orig 1851), 290 pages

Category  1. 19th Century Classic

I loved this!  The more I think about this wild tale, I fondly smile and reflect and think, “YEA!”

I had no idea. To be perfectly honest, (what a NUTTY turn of phrase is “perfectly honest…”), the first 20-25% should be considered an Introduction and read AFTER not before.

The story and the characters are quite endearing! Let’s see how much I recall from October . .  .

Old lady nearing the state of being house-rich + cash poor and …    tenuous at best. A dear sweet scary looking old lady who just needs a friend for pete’s sake!  (I know I would have LOVED her and could have made her a fast-friend) anyway…   Dear-sweet-old-lady opens a shop in her old house to sell crap and confectioneries to adorable little kids (ok, one kid – but what a lovely little rake, he is!) when “Distant Adorable Cousin” shows up to help and move in and get away from the country.

(This is obviously a condition of the times….  sweet cousin shows up and says “HI! can I stay here?” and they all say, “Sure, why not…”)

OH!  but drama.  And it was … cute!  fun! I don’t know…  not as scary as T-rumpville?!

Anyway, there’s a ghost, there’s family history, there’s house-history, there’s devious family members trying to usurp other poor family members and it was

a fun read.

But. WOW was that first quarter part a slog.

(Even if, in hindsight, it kinda sorta helped set up the fun of the rest of it…)

 

I rated this 4 stars.

“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.”

This just might have been my favorite of the books I read that count for the Back to the Classics Challenge…   maybe

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Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Love in a Cold Climate

Thoughts by Nancy Mitford, Hamish Hamilton 1995 (orig 1949), 343 pages

Challenge:  Classic Club 50 and Back to the Classics 2019 – By a Woman Category

BTCC Berlin Booksclassicsclub1

**AND** What’s in a Name 
Challenge 2019Temperature
Genre: British Class Capers?
Type/Source: Library
 Why I read this now:  Classics Club Spin October 2019

MOTIVATION for READING: Curiosity about the Mitfords

Page 33: “… and everything too much in apple-pie order,”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A rich society girl with a scheming mother and dutiful father decides not to do as expected.

What gr says: “Polly Hampton has long been groomed for the perfect marriage by her mother, the fearsome and ambitious Lady Montdore. But Polly, with her stunning good looks and impeccable connections, is bored by the monotony of her glittering debut season in London. Having just come from India, where her father served as Viceroy, she claims to have hoped that society in a colder climate would be less obsessed with love affairs. The apparently aloof and indifferent Polly has a long-held secret, however, one that leads to the shattering of her mother’s dreams and her own disinheritance. When an elderly duke begins pursuing the disgraced Polly and a callow potential heir curries favor with her parents, nothing goes as expected, but in the end all find happiness in their own unconventional ways.”

THOUGHTS: 

Yea, let’s discuss the “in the end, all find happiness” – really?  I thought the ending SO abrupt!  I’m left shaking my head, “what did I just read?” “what IS this?” Who really was this Polly girl – so truly naive?” Oh goodness me. Maybe just like her mother?

In some ways, this book was extremely fascinating.

I really liked Fanny. I thought she was beautifully written into life. I enjoyed her very much.

I think I am just glad the book is done. I can say I read it. I now have an inkling about who was Nancy Mitford, I am not at all opposed to reading more by her and about her, and this book suffered from being the book I read immediately after A Handful of Dust.

Dust was another tragedy/comedy of the Brits and their moneyed ranks, just set  a generation or so prior. And much more tragic and not very funny. Dark funny not silly funny.

I really say “really” too much and I really am spending too much time with the British upper crust these days!

Three slices of pie.

Page 109: “several wheelbarrows were filled and the contents taken off to be used as manure for cottage gardens or chubb pie, according to taste.”

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Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

August 2019 Update

Thoughts

I’m still here! I’m around. Just not as frequently and via less apps. (usually ALWAYS on Twitter, if you are looking for me…)

But I need a new cellphone – it has been “hiding” my apps and so they just aren’t available. Meaning no Litsy, which I miss and then I can’t remember passwords and online-life is just too complicated anymore. I miss the old days when blogging was fun and we didn’t have to jump through any hoops to leave comments and even visit!

The image above is from goodreads. (I am on goodreads; often.) I seem to be devouring the free (and short!) audiobooks from Audible. Treasure Island will end up helping me make the Classics 50 in Five Years. I think I have a few more months. (Need to check that.)

Speaking of Classics 50 — I just started the audiobook of Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer.

(I’m on a Penelope kick?)

AND, when I went to goodreads, I couldn’t find it in the editions offerings. So I added it. I love being a gr librarian!  Hopefully I did it right and correctly verified that an edition wasn’t already in the catalog.

I added the appropriate image and everything!

Back to my tbr image: the Elizabeth Bowen and the William Golding book were recommended by Penelope Lively. I just finished her Dancing Fish and Ammonites

 

and it was delightful.

Funny thing is that I have yet to read any fiction (or anything!) by Lively and now I’ve gone and read her memoir.

I’ve done that before — read an author’s memoir or biography before I’ve read any of what made the author an author in the first place. Did that with PD Wodehouse…

I am also reading A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess because it is handy. I found it on the Take-One-Leave-One bookshelf at my apt complex. I think it is on my Classics 50 list, too?  (Really need to go look at that list soon.)

Looking back on what I’ve read lately and would like to recommend, I find I am baffled by what I stated in my last post. I *did* actually read a few books in June. I read The Great Believers (which is two posts ago – look at that, I wrote an actual review.) and I read The Psychology of Time Travel – I liked it a lot and invite you to check it out.

Here’s the pic of the truly latest reads: 

Yes to Good Omens (my first Terry Pratchett) and enthusiastic yes for Crazy Rich Asians.  The Silent Patient was so-so. I DNF’d The Woman in the Window, Lost Children Archive and Black Leopard,Red Wolf.  NOT for all the same reasons, but one applicable reason for all is Too Many Books Not Enough Time.

That said, I hope you have terrific books in your life, the opportunity to eat some great pie and aren’t too stressed about time nor world affairs nor climate/weather, etc. Goodness! Can’t end on a downer!  How about some Rhubarb Raspberry Handpies…

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club aka Care’s Books and Pie. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club aka BkClubCare.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Great Believers

Thoughts (cover) by Rebecca Mekkai, 2018, 18 hrs 17 minutes

Narrated by Michael Crouch

Challenge:  Personal, TOB influenced
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source: Audible Audiobook
 Why I read this now:  on my mind and timing worked? (no idea)

MOTIVATION for READING:

FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE IN FICTION
WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL
WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION
WINNER OF THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

Soon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris…

THOUGHTS: What I wrote on goodreads:

Maybe this is a 4 star PLUS maybe it is a 5 but it is heart-wrenching and emotional; a button-pushing, guilt-absorbing, helluva read. 

I have yet to read any reviews but I hope some mention that it is a book about motherhood almost as much as lost-enduring love and the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, and Chicago. so many themes. so many feelings.

Imaginary Interviewer: “So, Care, why do you claim this book is about motherhood?”

Care: “Sorry, my intention was to suggest that a theme of motherhood is woven into the story and it explores our expectations of what motherhood should be.”

II: “Like what?”

Care: “Well, it struck me early on that Yale’s mother abandoning him when he was 6 pr 7 might come back up – actually, this book had some obvious foreshadowing tactics and this was one – sort of. You don’t bring up the guy’s sad childhood and chat about his mother who left more than the father who stayed without making the reader hope it is resolved or explored later.

And, I didn’t expect the how Makkai brought her back!  Well done. NOT cliche. At least to me.”

II: Is this going to be a spoiler-full post?

Care: “Yes, I think it is.

II, shouting: “SPOILERS AHEAD!!!  OK, go on.”

Care: “Sure. So, Fiona shut out her mother because Mom kicked out the son, the brother Nico. Or rather didn’t stop Dad from doing so. Maybe Mom did what she could – allowing Fiona to rob from her purse to give to Nico, etc. But the funeral stuff was very very sad.

And then Fiona was devastated that she was shut out by her daughter. And she couldn’t figure it out because she was nothing NOTHING! like her mother.

And then there was the Cecily – Kurt, mother-son relationship. Also, there was Teresa, Charlie’s mom and mom to Yale in turn. Who was all heart, it seemed.

Plus, the dash of southern motherly love for Julian! I loved that part. I think, as a reader in the situation we are immersed in to that point, especially, you don’t expect Julian’s mom to welcome him back home and not bat an eye. But she does.

Finally, Nora and her ‘having her son so late’ and thus spoiling him. Ha! Wow, did I hate Frank and that whole thing. Just horrid.

Basically, you can’t expect how your kids will turn out. You can’t assume a happy relationship, no matter what the circumstances?

I liked Yale and liked the 80s storyline. Fiona was not someone I could warm up to but by the end of the book, I was able to be empathetic, sympathetic to her (and glad her therapist seemed sensible with the advice to ‘be the grown up’.)

Still not sure what to think of Claire. She seemed overly harsh to me. And she is probably why I give this 4 and not 5 slices.

Fiona suffered PTSD. Yale didn’t deserve that fate and boy was I pissed off at Roman. And Frank. And Bill. and Charlie. Gah! There were some peaches in this book, goodness gracious.

Fiona’s ex husband came out looking OK, though. All the best to his wife.

Gosh, Richard was happy-go-lucky, yes?

II:  (gives perplexed nod.)

Care: “Yay Richard.”

(Moment of uncomfortable silence.)

II: “Care, how long has it been since you wrote a book review?”

Care: “Uh, too long? I’m a bit rusty.”

II: “Yep.”

RATING: Four slices of pie.

Potpie was mentioned and I think there was a bit of pie sharing in the driving-north-to Wisconsin parts. I think.

At 36%, I have a quote marked:

 “Sold out her father for what was left of the pie.”

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Dark Rooms

Thoughts

3328CC7B-EF2C-4939-82A2-351E6525B4AF by Lili Anolik, Wm Morrow 2015, 323 pages

Review in six words:  sisters, murder, siblings, whodunit, bad parenting

Free flow ramblings:  Grace is the older sister to a cooler more wild, more world-wise Nica who shows up dead by gunshot. Setting is a boarding school so of course, we get class issues, drug use, promiscuity, all of it. Nica is sleeping with everyone, it seems, so we wonder who ISN’t a suspect? But the school and the police conveniently find a suicide with confession note. Gracie isn’t buying it. A few of the situations she gets herself into are almost ridiculous but we buy it because kids are confusing and confused and doubts are huge; motivation-exploration and self-awareness are numbed by drugs and avoidance even as she keeps placing herself into conversations and confrontations to solve her sister’s murder. All is solved in the end and those plot turns and twists are just a part of the ride.

I don’t “get” the title… oh wait! I do!! Ha, ok, took me way waaaay too long, but Mom is a photographer. I guess that’s the connection. Mom is a real peach if you like fiction with icky mother-daughter storylines.

Rating: three slices of pie.

 

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Animators

Thoughts tabykrw by Kayla Rae Whitaker, Random House 2016, 372 pages

Challenge:  Tournament of Books 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction – I hate that this is a genre! Wait… IS “contemporary fiction’ actually a GENRE? Surely a better response would be ‘fiction that involves creative arts’, perhaps maybe  ‘fiction relating to dysfunctional families impact on friendships/partnerships’, then there could be this ‘fiction that features lots of drug use into adulthood’. Surely I am missing many many more subgenres…
Type/Source: Hardback / Library
 Why I read this now: The library called. My hold was available.

MOTIVATION for READING: Have I got a story to tell! Well, ok. It’s exciting to me, so…  Bear with me.

Last December, I responded to a tweet suggesting that if you wanted a book recommendation, just respond with the last thing you ate and what you were wearing.

Here’s the exchange:

and she responded with this:

So I put it on my tbr. (I must have known it was on the long list for TOB. right?)

THEN!!!   It made the short list for the TOB. Oh YEA.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Well, this part aint so easy.

I’ve mentioned that it involves creative arts, dysfunctional families and the impact of such on friendships and partnerships – both love and work, then that it features lots of drug use into adulthood?

Sharon Kisses, who considers herself heterosexual, meets Mel Vaughn, a rude crude lesbian who is basically a raging horndog drug addict (or IS she?!), and they form an amazing collaborative creative team for visual story-telling.

Questions pop up. How important is ‘permission’ when another’s life story is part of the “YOUR STORY” you want to share in a very public way? How much of the overlap is your story versus their story?

How much of the story and the subsequent story is MINE, ours, YOURS?

What’s NOT so good: Ah. Ah, yes. . . I’m sorry, can you repeat the question?

I would feel for Sharon and then wonder, “Uh what happened? Crap, she’s an asshole.”  I always liked Mel, but she was always painted as the sympathetic to-be-sympathized-with-nut crazy, so you would forgive her. She was very well-drawn. Sharon, who truly is the primary character, thus PROTAGONIST of this drama life tale, is a slippery one. To me. She would surprise me and usually NOT in a good way. Yet. She was ALMOST empathized with? maybe?

FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked this, I did. And there were a ton of pie mentions so I was often validated in my quest to find a pie mention in my literature (#selfishmaybecertainlystrange). I read some really-not-good reviews and some praising reviews and overall, I liked this very much. So… with all the terrific pie that our characters eat, I give this

RATING: Four slices of pie! I will go with strawberry pie.

I’m glad to have read this. It was different and I learned a lot about lots of things – mostly the creative collaborative animated cartoon concepts and maybe living in NYC. I look forward to spirited debate on this crazy tale.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie

Thoughts  by Jordan Sonnenblick, Brilliance Audio 2011 (orig 2004), 4 hours 31 minutes

Narrated by Joel Johnstone – great job!

Genre: YA/Middle School Fiction
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible
 Why I read this now: It was short.

MOTIVATION for READING: I don’t often remember by motivations, I sometimes just read things, buy books, let the mood and whim drive me. That said, I do know that I bought this purely because it had PIE in the title. Audible sent me an email specifically targeting my pie obsession and I didn’t think twice. Probably didn’t think once.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: When I hit play on my phone to start this audiobook, I didn’t have one clue what it was about. I didn’t know it was kid lit. I only expected drums, girls and pie. Sure, I suppose I could have guessed that a book with this title could be about a teen boy who plays the drums and chases girl. Shrug. I didn’t really think about it at all. I just hit PLAY.

And what I found out was that Steven is in a middle school jazz band and he is a very good drummer. He is infatuated with the prettiest girl in class and has a girl best friend that he really doesn’t treat very well. We (yes, I just switched to the plural all of us, ‘we’) learn that Steven has an annoying little kid brother named Jeffrey, age 5,  who — of course — knows just how to annoy his big brother, whom he idolizes, of course.

Then we find out that Jeffrey has leukemia.

WHAT’s GOOD: Kick in the gut good. Heartfelt and compassionate. And it’s FUNNY! Yes, there is humor.

What’s NOT so good: As a teacher, I found myself getting very emotional to those suggestive thoughts that we never quite know how to help our students and don’t often know what hard things they are dealing with. This hit close to home for me. I feel like I didn’t do enough for my students this year and I also don’t know what I could have done but there is always ‘never enough’. This isn’t a complaint or criticism of the book but I actually wish I had listened to it before May. I don’t have time to fix any of the never enough cases I want to attempt to help with. Prayers will have to do at this point in the school year.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you are a middle school teacher or any teacher who appreciates a funny and loving book that has teacher-student interactions, I recommend.

As a goodreads friend reviewed, “Very very sweet. And it’s even a cancer book.

RATING: Four slices of apple pie. (The dangerous pie isn’t edible.)

“… and what of the classic apple pie?”

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.